Consider 10 quick and easy happiness building activities that can be added to your daily to-do list.
Whether at home or at the office, the majority of us are consumed by ever growing to-do lists. I begin each week with a list of things to do, and break it down day by day. Working from home, this includes a list of both work and home related items. Everything from responding to emails to paying bills, to changing the laundry.
But how often do we take the time to add in small moments of enjoyment, rest, or recovery into our daily to-do list?
In such a fast paced world, our weekly to-dos are typically dominated by things things we have to do. Rarely does that include hobbies, activities purely for joy, or much needed rest.
How different would you approach your daily/weekly/monthly to-do list if you included these such moments? Moments that bring your joy and overall wellbeing?
Barbara Fredrickson is on the cutting edge of this idea. Fredrickson's research has proven that positivity creates an upward spiral towards greater human flourishing.
Too often we let ourselves feel guilt for experiencing moments of rest, or joy throughout our day - especially our work day. As if these "breaks" are going to prevent us from getting our work done in a fast and efficient manner. But that is not the case.
"The old story is that anything that feels good is merely a distraction - trivial, inconsequential, and therefore expendable. The new story - backeded by science - is that these same good feelings, cultivated through natural and ordinary means, are the active ingredients needed to produce an upward sprial towards flourishing. Whereas the old story leaves people feeling guilty when they 'take time' for something that makes them feel good, the new story can give people the courage to cultivate, protect, and cherish moments that touch and open their hearts." - Positivity, Barbara Fredrickson
Fredrickson's broaden and build theory shows us that positivity actually broadens and expands our minds. Allowing us to expand our range of vision. "It calls forth more possibilities from within us than we typically see - and certainly more than we are under the influence of negativity."
Greater positivity helps us move closer and closer to our greatest individual human potential.
So what does all of this mean for your to-do lists? Consider adding in moments of positivity throughout your day. Even if they are just small, simple things that bring you tiny bursts of joy.
Think of how your day could change if you only add in 5, 1 minute moments of joy. That is an additional 5 minutes of daily happiness that could completely change your productivity, and your life.
Here are 10 quick and easy happiness building activities to consider adding to your next to-do list:
1. Smile and Laugh: Take just a moment to stop what you are doing and actually smile. Or maybe think about something that made you laugh recently, and lovingly relive the moment for another dose of some side bending giggles.
2. Write a Thank You Note: When is the last time you said thank you for even the simplest of gestures? Not to mention actually putting it in writing. Gratitude is proven to boost your happiness in big ways. Consider taking just a moment to write a thank you note to someone who deserves it. This will bring you happiness through the simple task of writing the note, and the receiver happiness for the unexpected surprise!
3. Pick Fresh Flowers: Most of us have beautiful blooming flowers in our own garden, or perhaps a local flower shop that we pass by regularly. Grab some fresh cut flowers to brighten up your space at home or work. This is a fun break from your daily to-do's and will have a beautiful effect on any space!
4. Find a quiet place to just sit: Too often we forget that our bodies and minds need moments of rest to recover, discover, and grow. Find a new place close to your home or work where you can find serenity and quiet. This may be a park bench, and unused wing of your office, or a local coffee shop. Remember you do get breaks throughout the work day, and those breaks should be taken somewhere other than your desk!
5. Read a Book: The percentages of adults who don't read books after college, or haven't read in the past few years are astounding. Unless reading is required for work, few of us take the time to read anymore. So take a moment to actually stop and read. Whether that be for learning, or pleasure. Use your 15 minute work breaks to work your way through a new saucy romance novel.
6. Get creative: Being creative is one of the best ways to expand your mind and overall living experience. Find some time to pick up a new creative hobby like watercolor painting, or simply finish a fun home project like wallpapering your dining room for a fresh, contemporary feel. Get creative more often.
7. Frame a photo of a favorite memory: With iPhones as an extra limb now a days, we forget to savor moments longer than simply snapping a quick picture of them for Instagram. So go through that vast photo feed on your phone and take the time to print out and frame a memory that you have made lately. Hang the picture above your office space at work, in the laundry room, or somewhere you will see it while doing dishes. Relive the memory over and over while getting other must-do tasks done!
8. Create a personal joy list or journal: Simply take a minute to write down 10 things that bring you joy. This can be a life savor in the middle of a stressful day to change your mindset back to happy, positive thoughts. If you enjoy writing, consider starting a joy/gratitude journal, to write about all of the things that bring you joy each day.
9. Take a nap: Most of us do not get enough sleep each night. Consider taking a short cat nap during your day. Even just a short nap can have you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated to power through the rest of your day! Naps are a great way to break up negativity that may be clouding your day as well. If you are in a funk, take a nap and wake up in an entirely different state of mind to finish out the rest of your day.
10. Try a new recipe: Cooking can be a fun, relaxing way to break up your day. Consider trying a new, exciting recipe to share with family and friends. You are still accomplishing something productive, but you are having fun, taking a break, and learning something new!
So the next to-do list you write, add in at least one joy bringing task or moment to accomplish, along with everything else that must be done.
It is time to make positivity a priority.